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Research resources for dance courses offered at Jordan College of Fine Arts, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN.

Catalog tips

Sources of information: (Remember:  using online catalogs and commercially produced subscription indexes and databases is generally a more efficient and reliable method of doing research than “surfing the Net”  if you must use an Internet search engine, try Google Scholar!)

Discovery Search Box:
the library's answer to "Google," this search engine searches the online Butler Catalog, the online catalogs of thousands of libraries around the world, and online journal article content from several of the library's subscription databases simultaneously.  Keep in mind that it does NOT index all of the library's subscription databases or other available online digital collections.  Still, it's a good place to start your research to get an idea of what's available.  Use the limiters on in the far left-hand column of the screen to focus/narrow your results.

Boolean Operators:

 and, or, not - “and” is almost always the default setting.

Use “and” when you want BOTH/ALL terms to appear in the record for which you are searching.  Use “and” between terms that describe different aspects of your search (e.g., author’s last name AND a word from the title). 

Use “or” when either one term or the other is desirable; use “or” between synonyms or words that describe similar or the same aspects of your search (e.g., "makila tchuri" or "stick dance" ; fandango or jota).

Use “not” to exclude certain terms or concepts from your search. 

Search Tips:

Put quote marks (e.g., “cretan bull dance”) around any words that you want searched precisely in the order and spelling in which they are typed!

Truncate:  (?, *, #, ! = truncation symbols).  To truncate = to shorten a word to its base or root form.  Use truncation when you want to search the root of a word and include various forms of the word or to search singular and plural forms of the word simultaneously.  N.B., truncation symbols may vary from catalog/database                

In general, work out some of your search strategy before going online.  Think about your topic.  Write down key terms, concepts, titles, and personal names.  Be sure to include synonyms of key terms. 

For example:   think of as many different possible titles of a work as you can!For example, Nutcracker (Eng.) = Casse-noisette (Fr.) = Shchelkunchik (Rus.)  

Also -- think of as many identifying elements as you can!

For example, thematic catalog number [e.g., "BWV" = "Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis no. " (Bach), "K." = "Köchel no." (Mozart), "D." = "Deutsch no." (Schubert)], key, opus number, type of genre, instrumentation [and names for that genre or title (or for specific instruments) in appropriate foreign languages]. 

dance = danse (Fr.) = danza (It.) = Tanz (Ger.)
quadrille = quadriglia (It.) = Contretanz Quadrille (Ger.) = Contradanza (Sp.)
Nutcracker (Eng.) = Casse-noisette (Fr.) = Nussknacker (Ger.) = Shchelkunchik (Rus.)  

If you are looking for the works of a composer whose native language does not use the Roman alphabet, remember to think of possible alternate spellings (or do a “Browse Search” by Author in the Butler online catalog):          

Tchaikovsky = Chaikovski = Tschaikowsky = Tchaikovski = Tchaikofsky = Tschaikousky       
Stravinsky = Stravinski = Strawinsky = Strawinski 

To find a piano score of Tchaikovksky’s Swan Lake, type the following using the Basic Search and All keyword options: 
swan lake tchaiko? piano [and select format:  “Scores”]

 Try a contrasting search for:
 lac cygne piano ballet? [and select format:  “Musical score”]
Notice that you do NOT have to capitalize any words OR use the operator “and” to perform this search!

To find a recording of Glazunov’s (Glazounov?  Glazounof?) Raymonda (Raimonda?) ballet music type:

 ra?monda glaz?no* ballet [and select format: “Music”] 

To find a video of a Butler ballet performance of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, type:

 butler ballet? nutcracker  [and select format:  “Video”]

Click on the “Place hold” (for PALNI-held items) or Request itembutton within a bibliographic record to request the specific item through interlibrary loan. 

Interlibrary Loan

If Butler does not have the material you need, you can request it through InterLibrary Loan (ILL)! ILL is available directly through the catalog record but you can also access your ILL account through your library account. Login to your library account to:

  • Submit requests (use the Requests tab)
  • Check the status of your requests (under the Requests tab)
  • Retrieve electronically delivered articles
  • Request renewals for loaned items (in the Checkouts tab)

For all ILL questions contact Sarah Damery at 317-940-9677 or

Tip ...

Don't forget to check "Journals A-Z" (located under "Quick Links" on the Butler Libraries' Homepage) to locate other journals related to dance that may be available in electronic format from various databases (e.g., JSTOR and Project MUSE) to which the the Butler Libraries subscribe!

If you can't find the journal or magazine using the "Journals A-Z" link, try searching for the title using the WorldCat Discovery box and request the article via interlibrary loan!


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937

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